Sunday, July 10, 2016

Security Software SCAM

A lady left me a voicemail indicating that they found a security breach on my computer.  Below is the text of her voicemail, and you can also click on this link to listen to her message.
Security breach on it. Please call 855-855-9833. I repeat 855-855-9833. Thank you. This call is in regards to the security software we installed on your computer last year. Now he see a red flag on our end stating there is a security breach on it. Please call 855-855-9833. I repeat 855-855-9833. Thank you.
They were very persistent, leaving me 8 voicemail messages in the past week, so I decided to call them and see what this was about.  They also left me different phone numbers in their various messages.  One was 855-855-9833, another one was 855-855-9611.  The first time I called back, it just kept playing music on their end and after a few minutes the call ended.  That probably meant they were busy working with other callers.  But yesterday I was able to get through.

The person I spoke to knew who I was from the phone number I was calling from which suggests they use some kind of call center software to provide information on their callers and on their database they can track my call and enter notes about my call.  I played like I didn't know much about computers and that I was using a very old computer running Windows XP.

The agent wanted to connect to my computer (he asked me to go to and I indicated that I had dialup so I'd have to get off the phone for them to connect to my computer.  He then transferred me to another agent who suggested that it's OK that I have dialup as they can still connect to my computer when I get off the phone. 

He sold me 2 plans, one was for 1 year of network security for $149.99 and another one for 3 years of network security protection for $249.99.  I told him my computer is 13 years old and asked if there was a plan that was even longer than 3 years, and he put me on hold to ask his supervisor, and he came back with a lifetime plan for $499.99 ... the best deal he said as it would last me a lifetime and was transferable to a new computer if I ever decided to upgrade my 13 year old PC.

So I continued to play along and they said to keep my computer on and they will call me back after half an hour to confirm the software installation and proceed with billing.  They called me back after 20 minutes and the agent said your network security software is complete so I can now transfer you to billing.  I told him I had kept my computer off that whole time, and he said, it's OK, the software still installed that time ... so he probably thought at this point that I was really clueless. 

I kept on playing along and they transferred me to billing and they asked me to send them a check paid to "Tech Chance LLC" for $499.99 to 2417 Jericho Turnpike, #362, Garden City NJ 11040.  I decided to look up the address and there's a UPS store with mailbox services in that address but there are also other businesses including a few technology related businesses in that address.  I asked if they also accepted credit card payments, and they said checks were the only payments they were receiving at this point --- probably because one can dispute a credit card payment once you know you fell for a scam.

So what is going on here?  It's a shame that businesses like these continue to flourish and take advantage of people who fall for their messages indicating that your computer security has been breached.  Not a week goes by without my seeing a client fall for this type of scam and after talking to them yesterday, I can see how convincing and professional they sound.  When I played clueless about my computer, they were patient, and were technical enough to answer some of my questions about Internet Explorer.

Now that I'm on their database, they will probably call me back and sell me more services ... not sure what else they can sell me though since I had opted for their lifetime service, but maybe they'll ask if I had mailed them the $499.99 check yet ...


Anonymous said...

What do I do if I fell for this but have not sent thee check in to them?

HCCH said...

There is a computer scam on my computer,
You did not believer me when I said someone is messing up my computer.
The guy you spoke to when you were her last, is part of a group that scams people.
This is horrendous. I just spoke with the former attorney general of Maryland who now works for howard county consumer affairs and she told me to get in touch with my computer guy. I spoke to verizon for more than one hour yesterday and I thought they had fixed the problem They re-set my computer , but could not do anything about an email that I had sent to someone and was not sent, but it is in my sent box.
Please Robin, call me. This is serious.
howard county citizen association